Earls forced to withdraw from Ireland squad

The 24-year-old is set to miss out on Sunday as he plans to remain in Limerick with his partner and newborn, so Fergus McFadden comes into the starting XV.

Earls during the Ireland training camp last week.
Earls during the Ireland training camp last week.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

KEITH EARLS WILL not play any part in Ireland’s Six Nations meeting with Wales this weekend.

The Munster player was handed the No13 jersey by Declan Kidney for Sunday’s opener as Brian O’Driscoll recovers from shoulder surgery.

However, after a conversation with coach Declan Kidney, Earls has decided to stay in Limerick with his partner as his newborn daughter has been taken into hospital.

He will now be replaced by Leinster’s Fergus McFadden with Dave Kearney, younger brother of Rob, coming onto the bench.

“Unfortunately Keith’s baby has been taken ill and is in hospital as we speak,” said Ireland team manager on the IRFU website.

The nature of the illness is unclear, however I did speak to Keith this morning and he was hopeful and optimistic that the baby would get home some time over the weekend.

“The decision was taken following a conversation with Declan (Kidney) and Keith yesterday and it was thought that it was in the best interests of Keith and his partner and their families that Keith remains in Limerick for the weekend.”

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